A 33-year-old foster mother was arrested on suspicion of child abuse after a one-year-old baby girl under her care was found to have cerebral hemorrhage.
However, the suspect, surnamed So, was later released on bail after social workers and neighbors vouched for her good character, Apple Daily reported on Friday.
So lives in a flat on Loi Tung Tsuen in Sha Tau Kok, Fanling, with her husband and two children aged three and seven. The baby girl was the third foster child So was hired to look after at home.
The Social Welfare Department had sent the baby to So’s family after the child’s father had gone missing and her mother was deemed inappropriate to look after her.
On Thursday morning, So called for an ambulance after the baby vomited and collapsed.
Doctors at the North District Hospital spotted bruises on the baby’s forehead and a subsequent brain scan showed that she had cerebral hemorrhage.
The doctors suspected that she might have been subjected to violent shaking or attack, and ordered her transfer to the Queen Mary’s Hospital for further treatment.
Although the baby is now in stable condition, the doctors’ report prompted the police to arrest So.
However, witnesses told police that the baby’s injuries were the result of an accident, saying that the baby hit the back of the seat in front of her while traveling with So on a minibus a few days ago, Sing Tao Daily reported.
The vehicle reportedly made a sudden stop, resulting in the accident.
So said she did not take the baby to a doctor for examination because she only had a mild swelling on the forehead.
Fellow villagers also came forward to defend So, saying she is a caring foster parent and would not abuse any children.
The social welfare department confirmed that the baby girl has been under the care of the foster family since January.
Police later said they found So’s statements to be trustworthy, adding that she has no criminal record.
So’s family has been a foster family since 2013 and no complaints have been lodged against them before.
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